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Kritische Gesellschaftstheorie or kritische Gesellschaftspraxis? Robin Celikates, Kritik als soziale Praxis. Gesellschaftliche Selbstverständigung und kritische Theorie (Frankfurt am Main, Campus Verlag, 2009)

Susen, S. (2011). Kritische Gesellschaftstheorie or kritische Gesellschaftspraxis? Robin Celikates, Kritik als soziale Praxis. Gesellschaftliche Selbstverständigung und kritische Theorie (Frankfurt am Main, Campus Verlag, 2009). Archives Européennes de Sociologie / European Journal of Sociology, 52(3), pp. 447-463. doi: 10.1017/S0003975611000488

Abstract

Robin Celikates’s recent book, entitled Kritik als soziale Praxis. Gesellschaftliche Selbstverständigung und kritische Theorie (Criticism as Social Practice: Social Self-Understanding and Critical Theory), published by Campus Verlag in 2009, is undoubtedly one of the most significant contributions made to the field of critical theory over the past few years. If there is one major problem with this volume, it is the fact that it has still not been translated into, let alone published in, English. Given the conceptual precision, methodological rigour, intellectual originality, and thought-provoking argument of this study, one can only hope the volume will soon be available in English, so that its timely relevance and scholarly quality can be appreciated by a wider international readership in general and by Anglophone researchers working in the humanities and social sciences in particular. It is not often that one reads a book from cover to cover and has the pleasant experience of noticing that every single paragraph, and indeed every single sentence, is carefully crafted, meticulously organized, and thoroughly researched. One must congratulate the author for putting together a long-needed treasure of a book which makes a convincing case for the view that the very possibility of critical theory depends on its capacity to ground itself in the normative potentials and everyday disputes of society, rather than in the abstract concepts and sterile epistemic frameworks of armchair philosophy. In order to illustrate the complexity of Celikates’s ambitious endeavour, this review article shall provide a succinct overview of the main arguments and contributions, as well as of several noteworthy shortcomings and limitations, of Kritik als soziale Praxis.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in a revised form in European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie http://doi.org/10.1017/S0003975611000488. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © A.E.S. 2011.
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18831
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